Networking and Storage Performance

Networking and storage are two major aspects which influence our experience with any computing system. This section presents results from our evaluation of these aspects in the Intel NUC8i7HVK (Hades Canyon). On the storage side, one option would be repetition of our strenuous SSD review tests on the drive(s) in the PC. Fortunately, to avoid that overkill, PCMark 8 has a storage bench where certain common workloads such as loading games and document processing are replayed on the target drive. Results are presented in two forms, one being a benchmark number and the other, a bandwidth figure. We ran the PCMark 8 storage bench on selected PCs and the results are presented below. Since our review configuration came with two different drives in the M.2 slots, we processed the storage benchmark on both of them. The 800p performs as good as the OCZ RD400 despite its PCIe 3.0 x2 connection (compared to the RD400's PCIe 3.0 x4). However, it is not as good as the Samsung 960 PRO in the Skull Canyon NUC (though it must be remembered that the Skull Canyon number below has not been updated for the Meltdown / Spectre patch's effects, while the Optane drive is being benched in a fully patched system).

Futuremark PCMark 8 Storage Bench - Score

Futuremark PCMark 8 Storage Bench - Bandwidth

The travails of the 3D TLC-based 545s are evident in the storage bandwidth number above.

On the networking side, we restricted ourselves to the evaluation of the WLAN component. Our standard test router is the Netgear R7000 Nighthawk configured with both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks. The router is placed approximately 20 ft. away, separated by a drywall (as in a typical US building). A wired client is connected to the R7000 and serves as one endpoint for iperf evaluation. The PC under test is made to connect to either the 5 GHz (preferred) or 2.4 GHz SSID and iperf tests are conducted for both TCP and UDP transfers. It is ensured that the PC under test is the only wireless client for the Netgear R7000. We evaluate total throughput for up to 32 simultaneous TCP connections using iperf and present the highest number in the graph below. It must be noted that all PCs other than the ZBOX EN1080K, EK71080, and the NUC8i7HVK were tested in an older lab environment with a different orientation for the client and the router.

Wi-Fi TCP Throughput

In the UDP case, we try to transfer data at the highest rate possible for which we get less than 1% packet loss.

Wi-Fi UDP Throughput (< 1% Packet Loss)

Despite its 2x2 nature, the performance of the WLAN card is only slightly better than the 1x1 AC3165 in the ZOX MAGNUS EK71080. The absence of external antennae could be a possible reason.

Gaming Notebooks Compared 4K HTPC Credentials
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  • Hifihedgehog - Monday, April 2, 2018 - link

    The 2400G actually works for HDMI 2.0 with current gen hardware. I just built an HTPC in a Streacom FC8 and Raven Ridge, which exclusively has Video Core Next (not even discrete Vega has this), has the best hardware video decoding I have ever used, bar none. See here for compatibility information :

    smallformfactor (dot) net/forum/threads/raven-ridge-hdmi-2-0-compatibility-1st-gen-am4-motherboard-test-request-megathread.6709/
    Reply
  • Hifihedgehog - Monday, April 2, 2018 - link

    PS: Raven Ridge Vega’s VCN has fixed function VP9 decoding without restrictions. Prior revisions of Vega, including the revision on the Intel CPU+dGPU multi-die packages, use the old UVD system which, while considered by most videophiles to be the best hardware decoding option in terms of decoding quality compared to NVIDIA and AMD (see here: forums (dot) anandtech (dot) com/threads/does-anyone-review-video-decoding-quality-any-more.2410025/#post-36936833 ; despite being from 2014, this old post still pretty much applies), still lacks fixed function VP9 hardware support. Reply
  • Hifihedgehog - Monday, April 2, 2018 - link

    PS: Raven Ridge’s claim to fame is support for fixed function 10-bit VP9 decoding.

    tomshardware (dot) co (dot) uk/amd-ryzen-5-2400g-zen-vega-cpu-gpu,review-34205-4.html
    Reply
  • kunal29 - Saturday, March 31, 2018 - link

    What about the latency benchmarks between GPU and CPU? Reply
  • beginner99 - Sunday, April 1, 2018 - link

    Not being able to play UHD BluRay basically kills the product as HTPC which limits it to gaming and that is a steep price to ask just for that. My effing TV can play 4k HDR but this $1300 PC can't??? Reply
  • Tyler_Durden_83 - Monday, April 2, 2018 - link

    Here is an idea, the benchmarks as images are so last decade, seeing the review of the zotac without the benchmarks of hades canyon just because it came out one day earlier, or with a terribly old xps 15 model even though you did bench the latest, is quite frankly not the high standard that people expect from Anand Reply
  • kmmatney - Monday, April 2, 2018 - link

    This is a nice system, but still way too expensive. You can get a gaming laptop with 15" screen, 7700HQ cpu, RAM, Windows OS, usually an SSD OS drive, and a GTX 1060 for around this barebone price. Even less if you go for a 1050 Ti, which is about equivalent to this. It's impressive, but I just have never gotten the point of these expensive NUCs. Reply
  • JKJK - Tuesday, April 3, 2018 - link

    lack of UHD/HDR support in many cases and those kodi freezes .... meh.
    I would like to see some update on these freeze-issues in the future.
    Reply
  • HakkaH - Tuesday, April 3, 2018 - link

    Too bad they didn't throw in the AMD 200G and 2400G with the benchmarks. You can build a small system with it which would be a whole lot cheaper and probably pretty decent when it comes to gaming speed. Reply
  • Dev3 - Thursday, April 5, 2018 - link

    Hey Ganesh, can you comment on the current status of apparent lack of iGPU/AMD-CPU switchable graphics? Is this just an early BIOS/software issue or an unfixable design flaw where video-out is forced to route through the power-sucking Vega chip? This may be tolerable on a NUC but would be totally unacceptable on a laptop.

    I have an XPS-15 2-in-1 (9575) on order having assumed that Dell would never release a laptop with such a glaring flaw. But now with the first review out (https://www.digitaltrends.com/laptop-reviews/dell-... saying battery life is really bad, I'm getting concerned. Three hours runtime? Really??

    I thought this was the laptop I was waiting for but now I'm seriously considering canceling my order before it ships and holding off until the issue is sorted out or at least understood.

    I assume Intel is aware of the issue - can they fix it or did they (intentionally or unintentionally) sabotage their own (AMD) product??
    Reply

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